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Athletic Bilbao-Real Madrid La Liga 2017: Match Preview, Injuries, Potential XIs, Prediction

Real are back on the road against Bilbao in Basque Country.

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Athletic Club v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Match Preview

Real Madrid travel to the San Mamés Stadium this weekend in Bilbao. Athletic is currently in 16th place in La Liga with just 13 points on the season. Meanwhile, Real find themselves currently in 4th, tied with Atlético with 27 points. Now 8 points behind Barca for first, Real face another team in a low spot in the standings that they must win.

Real is currently coming off a 3-2 home win over Málaga, while Athletic is coming off a 2-2 draw with Deportivo. These are the matches where Real must get all 3 points if they want to keep up with Barcelona.

Two players to watch from Bilbao are actually two players that have been linked to Real Madrid, Kepa and Aymeric Laporte. Real is reportedly fairly close to activating Kepa’s release clause, while Laporte remains a January transfer window rumor.


Another blow to poor Gareth Bale, he is out indefinitely with another injury to his calf. He was subbed on against Fuenlabrada earlier this week where he racked up two beautiful assists. Now, he has another calf setback and this one has no time table to return yet, according to Zidane.

Marco Asensio was out last weekend against Málaga, with no reports of him missing Saturday’s match we’ll assume he’ll be on the bench against Bilbao.

Mateo Kovacic and Keylor Navas are both back from injury, after both starting against Fuenlabrada. Sergio Ramos should also be back after being replaced by Jesús Vallejo due to a broken nose.

Potential XIs

Real Madrid

Real have yet to release their official roster for the match, but it should look similar to last weekend’s matchup with the exception of Navas and Ramos starting.

Navas, Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco, Benzema, Ronaldo

Navas takes back his place starting in for Kiko Casilla, who filled in during Keylor’s absence. Expect Asensio (if healthy and on the roster), Kovacic, and either Ceballos or Vasquez to come off the bench as potential subs.

Athletic Bilbao

Kepa, Boveda, Nunez, Laporte, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Mikel Rico, Williams, De Marcos; Susaeta, Adruiz


With the exception of Bale, this is the first time the full squad is back together this season in La Liga. There has been so many injuries at the same time that have plagued this squad. With the band back together, there are no more excuses. They must get it done against a 16th place team and should do it convincingly.

Meetings between these two sides have always seen plenty of goals, this night in Bilbao might not be different. Real was able to put a third goal past Málaga to secure 3 points, they can’t let Athletic get as close. There’s some talent on Athletic, despite what their record in the standings show. Laporte is a great, young defender with tons of potential, who will most likely not play for Bilbao much longer. Kepa is also a good, young keeper, who have clearly attracted the eye of Real.

As I always say, Real cannot take them lightly. 3 points are needed, especially against a side with only 13 points on the season. Athletic is at home, so there’s the road factor Real must also deal with. Regardless, these are the games you need to win and take away all points. Benzema and Ronaldo have been looking better, so the goals should start following more often.

1-4 Athletic Bilbao-Real Madrid


Date: 12/02/2017

Time: 20:45 CET, 02:45pm EST, 11:45am Pacific.

Venue: San Mames, Bilbao, Spain.

Available TV: BeIN Sports (USA), Sky Sports Football (UK), Movistar Partidazo (Spain).

Available Streaming: BeIN Sports (USA), Fubo.TV (EVERY Real Madrid game with a high-quality and legal stream, click here to sign up and benefit from a summer discount for new members and Managing Madrid readers).

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